The U.S. Senate Just Approved a Bill to Legalize Hemp

“Americans used hemp in fabrics, wine, and paper. Our government treated industrial hemp like any other farm commodity until the early 20th century, when a 1937 law defined it as a narcotic drug, dramatically limiting its growth.”

The bill would remove hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, effectively legalizing the plant federally and allowing it to be grown, processed, and sold as an agricultural commodity. Individual states would be authorized to draft their own regulations governing hemp cultivation, without fear of federal interference. If the bill becomes law, hemp farmers would be allowed to apply for crop insurance or research grants from the federal Department of Agriculture.

The legalization of hemp could also prove to be a boon for medical marijuana patients throughout the country. The Senate’s farm bill, if passed, would officially legalize all hemp-derived products, including CBD oils.

The House’s version of the farm bill is a different story where Republican leadership prevented legislators from voting to include hemp legalization in their version of the bill. The farm legislation from both the Senate and House will now move to a joint Congressional committee tasked with merging the two versions into one. Although the future of the bill’s hemp provision is uncertain, the fact that Sen. McConnell is firmly in favor of the legislation greatly increases its chances of success.

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